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(The New Yorker)   Did 'Thriller' really sell 100 million copies? Moonwalking back the numbers   (newyorker.com) divider line 37
    More: Interesting, thrillers, best-selling albums, Epic Records, official notice, Bill Wyman, Michael Jackson, Nielsen SoundScan, Alanis Morissette  
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3360 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 04 Mar 2013 at 7:51 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-04 07:49:13 AM  
The music industry is full of hype and puffery? Oh my stars and garters! *falls demurely onto my feinting couch*
 
2013-03-04 07:56:30 AM  
Who knows what is true?  The music companies are always trying to cheat the artist out of royalties.
 
2013-03-04 08:03:08 AM  
Record companies are not the kind of people to use hyperbole or oversell.
 
2013-03-04 08:07:55 AM  
If it did, it got no help from me.
 
2013-03-04 08:26:01 AM  
They played every game in the book to boost the reported sales of that album.  This is known.

What's sad and silly is that they obscured the fact that it was an honest monster hit by doing so.
 
2013-03-04 08:35:08 AM  
i think back to Elton John's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album. bought it on vinyl, played the crap out of it, had to replace it. bought the vinyl for someone for Christmas then for someone else for their birthday. probably bought it on 8 track tape. later bought it on cassette tape; either wore it out or it got stolen, bought it again. there are other people who probably bought it on other formats like collector picture disc. of course i have all the early EJ albums on CD. Mrs.Kritter stole GYBR, I had to replace it.

so yes, record sales can really add up.

what pisses me off is that the price was sky high every time and on every format. because recording label companies are evidently really hurting for money, or something.
 
2013-03-04 08:36:25 AM  
The real story here is; who the f*ck cares anymore?
 
2013-03-04 08:37:53 AM  
It's entirely possible that it sold that many copies. 7 out of the top 10 selling albums of all time came out during the late 70s-early 80s. This is not a coincidence, and here's why.

Back then, people bought the albums for home listening, but tape recorders were still a little pricey for all stereos. So, some people would buy the vinyl album for home and an 8-track or cassette so they could listen in the car. Later on, when 8-tracks got phased out by cassettes, people bought another copy. When CD players became more affordable, same thing.

So, not even counting the advent of digital music distribution, you've got a situation where someone may have bought the same album at least 4 times.

I can believe Thriller sold 100 million copies, even if it 100 million people didn't buy them.
 
2013-03-04 08:43:14 AM  
I've always thought the "Thriller has sold 100 Million copies" figure to be dubious; especially since just a few years prior to MJ's trial the figure was generally around 60 million worldwide. The "100 million in sales" is actually based on Thriller going 100x Platinum globally, but only in the US does Platinum = 1 million units sold.
 
2013-03-04 08:47:45 AM  

stoli n coke: It's entirely possible that it sold that many copies. 7 out of the top 10 selling albums of all time came out during the late 70s-early 80s. This is not a coincidence, and here's why.

Back then, people bought the albums for home listening, but tape recorders were still a little pricey for all stereos. So, some people would buy the vinyl album for home and an 8-track or cassette so they could listen in the car. Later on, when 8-tracks got phased out by cassettes, people bought another copy. When CD players became more affordable, same thing.

So, not even counting the advent of digital music distribution, you've got a situation where someone may have bought the same album at least 4 times.

I can believe Thriller sold 100 million copies, even if it 100 million people didn't buy them.


I think that's where's Thriller's huge sales figures factor in, but each of those sales count as an individual unit sold (i.e. one 8-track + one LP + one cassette tape = 3 units sold, regardless of whether it is just one person buying them.) Aside from MJ's Motown-era releases, all these figures are kept track of and are pretty firm, but the TFA has more to do with the Jackson family exaggerating these sales figures. (see also: my previous post.)
 
2013-03-04 08:48:00 AM  
Looking at the <a data-cke-saved-href="http://tsort.info/music/faq_chart_count.htm#gdp music revenue as a percentage of GDP suggests that China, Brazil, Russia, Mexico and possibly Italy all sell significant numbers of albums without reporting them,

Not to mention pirated copies in Soviet Union/Warsaw Pact
 
2013-03-04 09:13:30 AM  
The Grease OST is #2 all time, huh? That's surprising as I have become very intimate with those songs lately and most suck as much as Travolta himself. I'm playing guitar for a high school production of the musical and if I have to play another I-vi-IV-V progression I'll kill myself (but it's good money, honey)! I guess I can see Greased Lightning, You're the one that I want and hopelessly devoted to you (a genuinely good song) being the main reasons for its success. The other tracks, while all catchy, range from suicide-inducing (we go together) to meh. I know Hound Dog is on there, but we're not playing it unfortunately. Also, fark you Travolta!

My point is that it's unfortunate that #1 and #3 are genuinely great albums with substance and quality for days and they have to share eternity with drivel. Is it a consolation that DSotM shares its backside with Whitney? I think as long as she's sharing her drugs it'll be okay.

/Oh why-ayee-ayee-ayee
 
2013-03-04 09:19:30 AM  

FeedTheCollapse: stoli n coke: It's entirely possible that it sold that many copies. 7 out of the top 10 selling albums of all time came out during the late 70s-early 80s. This is not a coincidence, and here's why.

Back then, people bought the albums for home listening, but tape recorders were still a little pricey for all stereos. So, some people would buy the vinyl album for home and an 8-track or cassette so they could listen in the car. Later on, when 8-tracks got phased out by cassettes, people bought another copy. When CD players became more affordable, same thing.

So, not even counting the advent of digital music distribution, you've got a situation where someone may have bought the same album at least 4 times.

I can believe Thriller sold 100 million copies, even if it 100 million people didn't buy them.

I think that's where's Thriller's huge sales figures factor in, but each of those sales count as an individual unit sold (i.e. one 8-track + one LP + one cassette tape = 3 units sold, regardless of whether it is just one person buying them.) Aside from MJ's Motown-era releases, all these figures are kept track of and are pretty firm, but the TFA has more to do with the Jackson family exaggerating these sales figures. (see also: my previous post.)



You also have to factor in that after he died, online retailers like Amazon put Thriller up for download for less than 5 bucks.  It stayed in their top 10 best seller list for more than a month, so that was probably 1 or 2 million extra copies.
 
2013-03-04 09:24:55 AM  

stoli n coke: You also have to factor in that after he died, online retailers like Amazon put Thriller up for download for less than 5 bucks.  It stayed in their top 10 best seller list for more than a month, so that was probably 1 or 2 million extra copies.


I'm more than sure he sold more copies were sold after his death, but the first time I heard the 100 Million sales figures was around the time of his last trial for molestation; hardly the height of his career. Either way, it does not add up to 100 million sold.
 
2013-03-04 09:28:05 AM  
He heeee
 
2013-03-04 09:36:44 AM  

FeedTheCollapse: I've always thought the "Thriller has sold 100 Million copies" figure to be dubious; especially since just a few years prior to MJ's trial the figure was generally around 60 million worldwide. The "100 million in sales" is actually based on Thriller going 100x Platinum globally, but only in the US does Platinum = 1 million units sold.


Ding ding ding! We have a winner. Yes, it's because of the Platinum in different countries having different figures and something getting lost in translation when people counted how many platinums he had.

And it's understandable since awards are meant to be relative. If you live in a country with 10 million people you can't be expected to sell the same amount that someone from USA  since the country has had between 200-311 million people for the last few decades.
 
2013-03-04 09:53:55 AM  

IwasKloot: The Grease OST is #2 all time, huh? That's surprising as I have become very intimate with those songs lately and most suck as much as Travolta himself.


As someone who has spent years rummaging through garage sales, thrift stores, estate sales, etc., this comes as no surprise at all. It is by far the album I come across most. It wouldn't surprise me if the actual sales numbers are higher than Thriller.
 
2013-03-04 09:57:47 AM  
Wait, soundtrack to popular movie with songs by popular artists sold lots of copies??
 
2013-03-04 10:04:58 AM  
I am not Mike Jackson revisionist, but I don't want to live in a world where that album didn't sell that many copies.
 
2013-03-04 10:11:30 AM  

IwasKloot: The Grease OST is #2 all time, huh? That's surprising as I have become very intimate with those songs lately and most suck as much as Travolta himself. I'm playing guitar for a high school production of the musical and if I have to play another I-vi-IV-V progression I'll kill myself (but it's good money, honey)! I guess I can see Greased Lightning, You're the one that I want and hopelessly devoted to you (a genuinely good song) being the main reasons for its success. The other tracks, while all catchy, range from suicide-inducing (we go together) to meh. I know Hound Dog is on there, but we're not playing it unfortunately. Also, fark you Travolta!

My point is that it's unfortunate that #1 and #3 are genuinely great albums with substance and quality for days and they have to share eternity with drivel. Is it a consolation that DSotM shares its backside with Whitney? I think as long as she's sharing her drugs it'll be okay.

/Oh why-ayee-ayee-ayee


You mistake pop music crap for actual good music.

Amusing and sad at the same time.
 
2013-03-04 10:30:57 AM  

Generation_D: You mistake pop music crap for actual good music.


Pop music crap - music that sells lots of copies
Actual good music - music that sold lots of copies
 
2013-03-04 10:44:41 AM  

natural316: He heeee


SHAMONE!
 
2013-03-04 10:50:08 AM  
How ever many, it's more than any other and will never be topped.
 
2013-03-04 10:56:08 AM  
I'm no MJ fan, but he's the only guy with friggin THREE albums on that farking list. Pretty damn impressive to me.
 
2013-03-04 11:07:01 AM  
I'm no MJ fan, but he's the only guy with friggin THREE albums on that farking list. Pretty damn impressive to me.

Consider who bought those albums...still impressed?
 
2013-03-04 11:20:49 AM  

Kurmudgeon: I'm no MJ fan, but he's the only guy with friggin THREE albums on that farking list. Pretty damn impressive to me.

Consider who bought those albums...still impressed?



I'm well educated, earn a very good living. And I bought one when it was released.

So yeah, he should be impressed.
 
2013-03-04 11:48:19 AM  
I still grouse about him giving him his own nick-name: 'The King of Pop'.

Yup he gave it to himself.

Why didn't he choose something cooler like 'T-bone'?
 
2013-03-04 11:53:26 AM  
I loathe Michael Jackson's music.  I never liked it before he got accused of kiddie diddling, after he got accused of kiddie diddling, or now that he's worm food.  No, I'm not a hipster, I just can't stand it.  The same as I can't stand Lady Gaga's music or Justin Bieber's, or Rush's.  If I'm being honest, the number of copies an album has sold doesn't mean much to me in terms of whether it's any good.  Popular doesn't always mean good, and good doesn't always mean popular.
 
2013-03-04 11:56:33 AM  

douchebag/hater: I still grouse about him giving him his own nick-name: 'The King of Pop'.

Yup he gave it to himself.

Why didn't he choose something cooler like 'T-bone'?


Even though you're the worst person on Fark you just reminded me of something. I recently heard someone make the profound realization that somehow black people are the only ones who can get away with giving themselves nicknames. Like if a white guy announced to his friends, "Guys, from now on I want you to call me LL Cool J"   he would be laughed at for the rest of his life.
 
2013-03-04 11:57:26 AM  

douchebag/hater: I still grouse about him giving him his own nick-name: 'The King of Pop'.

Yup he gave it to himself.

Why didn't he choose something cooler like 'T-bone'?


When?
 
2013-03-04 12:06:10 PM  
So is this good news for The Eagles' Greatest Hits?
 
2013-03-04 12:10:28 PM  
huh? why all the negativity?

Thriller was one of Quincy Jones best albums IMHO
 
2013-03-04 12:20:35 PM  

FetusJackson: natural316: He heeee

SHAMONE!



Ju know it.  Ju know. Ju know it.  Ju know. Sha-mone. Ooop thah.  Thah.  HEEEEEH!  Sha-mone.

/mamasay
//mamasaw
///mama koo-dah
////You eat bantha poodoo, Dooku.  Shamone!
 
2013-03-04 04:49:15 PM  

douchebag/hater: I still grouse about him giving him his own nick-name: 'The King of Pop'.

Yup he gave it to himself.

Why didn't he choose something cooler like 'T-bone'?


Let's just be glad he took the throne in a bloodless coup.
 
2013-03-04 05:41:37 PM  
Deal with it.

28.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-03-04 10:17:49 PM  
Jagged Little Pill sold over 33 MILLION copies?

WTF?

I'm not ragging on Alanis Morrisette- don't get me wrong, it's not my style- but THIRTY THREE MILLION?

WTF?
 
2013-03-05 09:42:35 AM  

Your Average Witty Fark User: Jagged Little Pill sold over 33 MILLION copies?

WTF?

I'm not ragging on Alanis Morrisette- don't get me wrong, it's not my style- but THIRTY THREE MILLION?

WTF?


It's a good album with solid songs. It aint for me, but I see what's there, same as thriller.
 
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